Acupuncture is 3,000 years old – and some people consider it to be quack medicine right alongside waving bundles of herbs around.
Truth is, acupuncture is actually safe and effective for a variety of conditions including headaches, nausea, low back pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, primary dysmenorrhoea (period cramps), etc. There’s also indications it might be good for insomnia and weight loss.
So, how does it work? We don’t actually know. Although acupuncture has been tested and demonstrated to work, the actual mechanism remains unclear. Practitioners claim that it works by unblocking the flow of ‘qi’ energy through the body, improving the body’s natural healing response. It has been proven to be more than a placebo. The best modern idea we have is that acupuncture stimulates nerves in a way that releases endorphins in the brain. It may also reduce inflammation. Another idea is that acupuncture encourages nervous system regeneration. Acupuncture has become increasingly accepted by mainstream doctors, particularly for reducing symptoms associated with chemotherapy treatment.
Acupuncture is generally not used alone – it works best as complementary medicine with other factors – these can include massage, chiropractic care, therapeutic exercise and improved nutrition. It is not a magical panacea that can cure everything. However, it can alleviate pain in many areas of the body, providing drug-free relief. It may be provided by a standalone clinic or in association with a Nashville chiropractor – more and more chiropractors are hiring in-house acupuncturists because the therapies are natural adjuncts to one another.
So, if you have chronic pain, it is worth trying acupuncture – it is proven as effective, does not involve drugs or surgery and visits generally last 20-30 minutes, resulting in immediate symptom relief and a sense of well-being. Call a chiropractic clinic that provides acupuncture and finds out what it can do for you, alone or, more likely, in conjunction with other therapies.